The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) continues to expand its outreach and services to contest officials nationwide through development of the NFHS Center for Officials Services (COS).
The NFHS COS, with its technology platform created by DragonFly Athletics of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, officially kicked off at the start of the 2020-21 school year and is already servicing nine NFHS member state high school associations (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina and Wyoming), as well as sport-specific officials in three other states (California, Maine and Pennsylvania).
With the goal of building platforms for every state association, the COS offers a variety of services for officials on both the web and mobile app, including registration, exams, assignments, communication and scheduling tools, and payments.
Most recently, the COS has created an “NFHS Officials Hub” area for members that offers easy access to NFHS sport-specific rules information. With 23 different sports and activities options, information such as articles, rules changes, publications, comments on the rules, points of emphasis, rules interpretations, signal charts and safety information is now available with one click in the COS platform.
Currently, rules exams on the NFHS Exam System are available to NFHS Officials Association members through the COS. Down the road as the COS continues to expand, members will be able to access NFHS digital rules books and case books, insurance information, video content and sport-specific officiating courses on the NFHS Learning Center. It is anticipated that the NFHS COS database would include all registered officials in NFHS member state associations. As a result, this new technology would assist the NFHS as it continues to recruit new officials through its #BecomeAnOfficial program as well as ongoing efforts to retain individuals who officiate high school contests.
“We are excited about the progress we have made thus far in developing this tremendous service for high school officials across the country,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “In those states that are using the NFHS platform, officials are able to obtain everything they need in one location – from registering, making payments and receiving assignments and assessments, to educational material from the NFHS. The technology developed by DragonFly offers a streamlined process for officials to participate, and for state associations and the NFHS to share officiating data.”
DragonFly currently works with administrators nationwide to manage athletics and activities programs at the high school level. Its all-inclusive platform provides features for registration, medical care, scheduling, communications and payments. DragonFly developed the video exchange technology used by NCAA Division I schools for game day preparation.
“The COS is a robust system that will continually add features to provide our state associations, officials assignors and game-day officials with a streamlined tool that is a one-stop shop for everyone involved in officiating at the high school level,” said Davis Whitfield, NFHS Chief Operating Officer who has worked with DragonFly on a daily basis in developing the COS.